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City of North Tonawanda sets date to vote on 2-year crypto mining moratorium

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — North Tonawanda residents begged city leaders at a public hearing Tuesday to take action to stop what they said is non-stop noise coming from a crypto mining plant.

North Tonawanda Mayor Austin Tylec said he’s listening to their concerns and is proposing a two-year moratorium on all new crypto mining developments, which is getting full support from nearby residents.

The moratorium would block any existing facilities from expanding and pause the development of new ones. 

The proposal will be voted on ​by the common council on July 16.

At the public hearing, residents made their frustrations clear about the plant on Erie Avenue

Almost every person said the noise is disrupting their everyday lives and that the moratorium would bring them some peace of mind. 

“We always heard noise from them, but it wasn’t as much as first,” North Tonawanda resident Mark Polito said. “Then it just became a constant noise.”

A common theme among residents is that the crypto mining plant has changed the way they enjoy their quality of life on their own property.

“On Memorial weekend, I went out and cooked my food. I wanted to hang out in my yard, but the noise was so loud. I was forced back into my own home,” Polito said. “Our dog used to love playing around the house and the backyard, but now he comes in within minutes of doing his thing out there.”

Residents are also concerned about how much pollution the plant is producing. 

“It bugs me that I am being told that I cannot have gas appliances in the future when this place is allowed to blow more than any resident in the area,” North Tonawanda resident Kevin O’Connor said.

Residents claim the company is producing higher levels of greenhouse gas emissions than 160,000 residents would in a year. 

“Unfortunately, the new moratorium, if approved by the council, won’t solve the current issues of high noise levels and increased greenhouse gas emissions that the digihost operation has caused with their bitcoin mine over on Erie Avenue, but it will stop it from getting worse,” said Deborah Gondek, chair of the North Tonawanda Climate Smart Task Force.

Tylec also said the two-year moratorium would provide the city with the necessary time to study the potential impacts of the crypto developments. 

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Trina Catterson joined the News 4 team in 2024. She previously worked at WETM-TV in Elmira, a sister station of WIVB. See more of her work here.

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